The wet marker was cold on Jason’s warm chest as it left behind thick, dark lines. At fourteen, he and Marcus were probably too old to be drawing marker tattoos on each other, but it was summer, and they were bored and hot.
Besides, it was fun. One of these days he’d be old enough to get a real one, and his mom was just going to have to deal...
He looked down at his chest; Marcus had gotten pretty good at this over the years, and the skull he was drawing actually looked like a real skull. Marcus’s hand was warm in a way the marker wasn’t, and all of a sudden Jason was acutely aware of the way Marcus was resting his free hand on the side of the drawing away from the marker.
Marcus was his best friend, and he didn’t ever mind being touched by him.
It just didn’t normally feel good.
But it did this time. The free hand shifted as Marcus drew part of the crossbones, and the cold tip of the marker was almost at his nipple, but not quite, and then it slid down across his ribs.
“Huh?” Marcus’s question brought him out of his little daydream about what that wet little marker could do to his nipple.
“You stopped breathing.” Warm brown eyes looked at him with concern.
“Oh.” Funny how he hadn’t even noticed, but Marcus had. “I’m okay.”
“Okay.” Marcus started again on the other bone, this time going from the sensitive skin below his ribcage to right below his other nipple.
Was he really getting turned on from this? Really? He really was. He hoped Marcus wouldn’t notice. Jeans were a boy’s best friend.
Marcus scooted his chair closer to the edge of the bed, where Jason was sitting. “The detail is such a pain.”
“Well, yeah, when you choose to do barbed wire with a Sharpie...”
“But it looks so cool.”
They lapsed into silence again, and Jason had nothing to focus on but how close Marcus was, between his spread knees, and how good the marker and Marcus’s hands felt.
Soon he couldn’t help but squirm, which just made it worse. Marcus raised an eyebrow and said, “Are you sure you’re okay? I can stop.”
Marcus eyed him critically, then dropped his eyes to Jason’s lap. Crap.
Marcus smiled oddly, and Jason couldn’t quite read it. “You aren’t getting turned on by this, are you?”
He never lied to Marcus, and he wasn’t going to start now. “A little.” He didn’t mind bending the truth, however. He was “a little” turned on the way Paige was “a little” ugly.
Marcus nodded. “Your skin feels nice, and you keep making these little breathy noises.”
Huh. “So what do we do?”
Marcus blinked a couple of times. “I don’t know. Ignore it, maybe.” He knew what that meant- The Talk was always about feeling stuff for girls. Marcus was definitely not a girl. He’d seen proof.
“What if I don’t want to?” Because he didn’t want to.
“I don’t know what to do, either.” Marcus looked at Jason’s mouth. “Aren’t we supposed to kiss? Or something?”
“Come on, it’s only gross if it’s a girl, right?”
Maybe? It made sense to him, anyway. Girls were filled with cooties, in his opinion. Marcus was just Marcus. “Right.”
Marcus lost the smile as he focused, and Jason realized he really liked the way Marcus looked when he was really seriously thinking about something. Marcus leaned in close, and Jason fought the urge to lean back out of the way.
He closed his eyes when Marcus did, and the first press of his lips was weird. He didn’t dislike it, exactly, but it wasn’t the way he thought kissing was supposed to feel. He opened eyes when he couldn’t feel Marcus near him anymore.
Marcus blinked at him again. “That was... huh.”
“Maybe we didn’t do it right.”
“Wanna try again?”
“Okay.” This time Jason leaned in, and licked his lips right before they touched Marcus’s. They slid across, and Marcus opened his mouth. Jason tried again, his tongue coming out a little. Marcus kissed back, and they broke apart again.
Jason realized he was a little out of breath. “That was better.”
“Still kind of gross.”
“A little, yeah.”
“Maybe we should stop.” Marcus’s face fell. “And do some research.” Marcus raised an eyebrow at him. “My mom and sister have a lot of movies where people kiss. They’re supposed to be funny, but they’re just annoying.”
“But with a girl, right?” Marcus wrinkled his nose.
“I don’t think they have anything with guys.”
“The Internet might.”
“One way to find out.”
Jason went to bed that night having experienced two revelations. One, there was a good chance he was gay. Two, kissing wasn’t gross at all, and once you did it right, it felt really good.
He and Marcus were going to have to experiment with drawing on each other more often.